Do you practice in a state that is forgoing Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act? If so, what do you think this means for your patients?
Recently, this blog by Aaron Carroll from The Incidental Economist came across my desk. It discussed a Perspective in the NEJM, written by Charles van der Horst, MD, an infectious disease specialist who was arrested last year in protest of North Carolina's legislature's decision to forgo Medicaid expansion under the Affordable Care Act (ACA).
In his Perspective, van der Horst wrote this (and Carroll pointed the same text out in his blog as well):
"North Carolina has high infant mortality (a measure on which we rank 46th in the country), a high rate of low birth weight (40th in the country), and a high prevalence of diabetes (36th). We rank among the bottom 20 states in terms of premature deaths (36th), cancer-related deaths (35th), and deaths from cardiovascular causes (31st). We are not a healthy state. With so many poor medical outcomes that can be prevented through access to good care, how can we not protest the decision to deny several hundred thousand North Carolinians access to health insurance? And how can my colleagues in the 22 other states blocking Medicaid expansion not speak out as well?"
I invite you to take the poll below. And I'm wondering: As a health care provider, what do you think this will mean for your patients? Do you share van der Horst's concerns?
(As always, we welcome your insight in the Comment section below.)
Do you practice in a state that is blocking Medicaid expansion?